Romney's Interesting Slip

Photography by WEBN-TV

Mitt Romney's latest 'gaffe' that cutting spending will slow economic growth is actually simple common sense. Why is he afraid of admitting it?
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Romney's remarks actually reveal his inner sanity which would hopefully be the Mitt who would reveal himself in the increasingly unlikely event that he ever makes it to the White House. While it's great for President Obama that the lunatics have taken over the Republican asylum it's not good for the U.S. economy, American democracy or a healthy civil society.

The depth of the ideological chasm into which the conservative movement has sunk is worrying. When people such as Mr Andy Roth of the fiscally conservative Club for Growth say that if the U.S. Government "balanced the budget tomorrow on spending cuts alone, it would be fantastic for the economy," they are advocating turning the U.S. into Greece Mark II. This is precisely the kind of ideological economic suicide practised by Chairman Mao, and in terms of the damage it would wreak on an incipient U.S. recovery, pure folly.

Mitt Romney knows this as well but he's too terrified of his own party on this issue, and they don't really trust him either. And without a lead from him, moderate Republicans have little incentive to speak up on this issue, since they can see which way the wind is blowing. One doesn't have to be Paul Krugman to realise that with a private sector unwilling to spend due to uncertainty and lack of demand, cutting government spending would not suddenly free up resources that would be gobbled up by eager investors. It would plunge the economy into another Depression and make New York look, well, like Athens.

Even Ronald Reagan, the hero and standard bearer of all things conservative raised taxes. If today's Republicans want to revive the American dream, and emulate The Gipper rather than Herbert Hoover, they should realise that Mitt's faux pas was right on the money. What Romney needs is the courage to retake the asylum and turn it into a slightly saner institution instead of the present Republican Party which even Barry Goldwater would find too ideological.

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Posted on February 22, 2012

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